There’s been a large amount of commentary on the huge surge in Indian gold imports, the damage it is doing to the current account deficit, with much weighing of the pros and cons of the government’s feeble attempts to stem the yellow tide. Read more

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There are many arguments made in favour of subsidies, especailly energy subsidies. In a country like India, the most obvious argument is that they give a leg up to a huge mass of poor people who would otherwise find cooking, transportation and whatnot cripplingly expensive. Read more

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Speaking at a seminar at the University of Warsaw earlier this month, I gave a tentative obituary to the so-called Manmohan doctrine. The doctrine, never officially espoused by the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was put forward by his key aide for such semiotic formulations, Sanjaya Baru. Read more

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I have been a long-standing critic of the Indian penchant for buying and hoarding gold. Read more

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Flying back from a desultory summit meeting in Moscow last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was asked by the media about the state of the economy. He mumbled a few things but noted that investment was riding at 36 per cent of the GDP and so he was confident. Read more

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Pakistan’s economic situation is deceptively sounder than it actually is. It’s public debt is about 50 per cent of GDP. Its external debt is about a quarter of GDP. And it basically told the IMF that it doesn’t need the last $ 3.7 billion tranche of an emergency loan that it had negotiated with the multilateral financial body. Read more

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The US budget deal was interesting in foreign policy terms at the willingness with which the US legislators and administration were willing to put the Pentagon’s budget to the axe. Read more

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Remittances to India have recovered from the global financial crisis, shows a Migration Policy Institute study of recent World Bank remittance data. Read more

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The Economist had done an economic map of China’s provinces and showing, roughly, that their provincial GDPs were of the size of the middle tier European countries and their per capita provincial GDPs akin to those of Latin American countries. Read more

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Kazakhstan superficially reminds one of Saudi Arabia. It is a vast country, much of it ecologically hostile to human habitation (-45 C in the winter one Kazakh told me); inhabited by a population about the same as a large Indian city; and choc-a-bloc with mineral resources – oil, gas, uranium, coal and whatnot. Read more

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